The First Book of Calamity Leek (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Cloistered girls whose world is skewed by two women who care for them. But some girls venture beyond high walls to outside. Their eyes are opened to the modern world as their careful world unravels in disturbing
and mesmerizing events. Psychologically stunning, bewitching words. --Marilyn

— From Staff Picks - Marilyn




A beguiling, irresistibly immersive debut novel about sixteen sisters in a walled garden, and what happens to their carefully constructed world when one girl starts asking questions about life outside.

Fourteen-year-old Calamity Leek and her sisters spend their days tending white roses and memorizing the lessons in Aunty's Appendix, a multi-volume compendium of show tunes, beauty regimens, and twisted creation myths. Calamity knows the Appendix front to back, and she is Aunty's favorite, destined for particular greatness. But when her restless sister Truly Polperro gets too curious about life beyond their Wall of Safekeeping, she cracks Calamity's world wide open. Calamity needs a new book. And she will have to write it herself.

With formidable imagination and brilliant strangeness, Paula Lichtarowicz's The First Book of Calamity Leek draws on fairytales and doublespeak to tell a story both classic and keenly modern. Calamity, fearless and wrenching, leads us to question the stories we ourselves live by.

About the Author

Paula Lichtarowicz was born in Cheshire and studied English literature at Durham University and psychology at the University of London. When not writing, she makes television documentaries. She lives in Yorkshire. "The First Book of Calamity Leek "is her debut.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250087935
ISBN-10: 1250087937
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English